Kuala Lumpur City Guide - Kuala Lumpur Travel Tips

In Malay language Kuala Lumpur means ‘muddy confluence’ but actually in this city the East and the West meet and the combination is as unique as it is extraordinary. Just read the article and we are sure you will come to think of it the same way.

Reasons to visit

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, has about 17 million inhabitants and is visited by many tourists throughout the year for a number of reasons.

The city offers a chance to learn about a new culture and try new dishes, and its architectural masterpieces combine the best of both the East and the West, between the buildings and highways there is also plenty of green space for you to enjoy nature.

For example, near Petronas Towers, trees that are hundreds of years old can be seen. In addition, there is a need to mention shopping in the city as well as in Kuala Lumpur is one of the four best shopping paradises in the world. When to Travel to Kuala Lumpur you ask?

The tropical climate does not change much during the year so you can always enjoy the sunshine. The average temperature around the year is 25-30 degrees Celsius the air is extremely hot in this period of time.

In Southeast Asia, from May to September, there is a great monsoon rainfall, whereby the low-lying areas are flooded by the sudden rain as well.

Malaysia’s hottest and driest month is February, so this seems to be the best choice to visit this city, not get sunburn and stay dray also.

In Kuala Lumpur are a lot of Muslim women dressed in black. The ethnic, religious and culinary diversity of the city is impressive.

You will find gigantic sized high-rise buildings, tall railroads, steady night-time constructions, palm trees that reach to the skies and lots of exotic bird species.

Kuala Lumpur Weather

Kuala Lumpur has a tropical rainforest climate which means it’s warm and sunny and safe from strong winds. Usually is hot and humid and occasionally does experience rainfalls.

Best time to visit Kuala Lumpur starts from May to July or December to February. The average temperature is around 28°C.

Kuala Lumpur Local Transport

Kuala Lumpur has a friendly public transit system including subway, which covers entire metropole, and buses. You can buy MyRapid Touch ‘n go which cost 20RM preloaded with 10RM.

For a short-term visit, you can have a KL TravelPass which cost 120RM for two days and you have unlimited routes via RapidKL, rail lines and return trip to or from the airport.

 

Language

The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu or simple said, Malay. They have many dialects but for tourists will be just Malay.

They also speak English but they have a lot of outside influence like Malay, Chinese or Tamil. As a tourist is pretty easy to talk with locals in special in urban areas.

If you want to enjoy the local food you might find people who barely speak English.  But don’t worry, Malay people are very friendly and curious and happy to serve you.

Electric

 

In Malaysia, the power plugs and sockets are of the type G. Having your smartphone or camera charged for taking pictures is mandatory in this beautiful city. We suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from around.

Currency

In Malaysia, the currency used is the Malaysian Ringgit. You can exchange your money at most local banks or their exchanges. Another option can be using ATMs, which is safe and very easy to use. 

Must Try Food

It is not easy to find Malaysian food, though we can choose from the masterpieces of Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Western cuisine. Typical Malay cuisine uses a lot of spice, chilly and soy. No consumption of pork is allowed and the typical herbs used in dishes are garlic, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, and coriander. However, the best foods cannot be found in fancy restaurants but on the street of Kuala Lumpur and we made a special list for you of foods that you should try.

TURMERIC RICE

On weekdays, white rice is consumed that is boiled in water or cooked with coconut milk, but rice can be made in other forms, especially during feasts. To make it more special and tasty rice is soaked in turmeric with tamarind pieces, making it bright and yellow. They do not boil it but steam it in coconut milk and add salt to it.

SZATE

Szate is the most well-known Malaysian and Indonesian meat dish, consists of pieces of meat drawn on a split. Every country has its own specialty. They can be made from beef or chicken meat, lungs or spleen and are considered as very rare local “delights”. They cut the meat into small cubes and add garlic, pepper, tamarind, salt, and sugar to it and leave it to soak for at least 8 hours, then pull it on a spit and roast it.

RENDANG

Rendang is a roasted national dish. It can be made from beef, chicken or buffalo meat. It is served with rice or lemongrass, with the latter mostly on a holiday. It is on the menu of all important festivals.

CENCALUK

Cencaluk belongs to the category of condiments and it is served with rice or salads. It is made without cooking from small crabs and by adding salt and water. It has a marvelous, salty taste. It can be flavored with grated lemon juice and onion.

BUDU

Budu is similar to Cencaluk but it is not made from crabs but from small fish. It is also used to flavor salads, but it can also be used as an ingredient for curry rice.

SUGARY BANANA

Sugary bananas go very well with your afternoon tea. Chopped banana slices are soaked in hot palm oil and sugar for five minutes and then baked in the oil for 10 minutes. During this time, the sugar is made into syrups, and the fried banana slices are ready to eat after they cooled.

FRIED BANANA

Fried banana is a very popular afternoon snack, easy to prepare at home. In a ready-to-buy flour mixture, they role the bananas and after that they fry it. It is as tasty as it is simple

LEMPUK

Lempuk is a jam-like sweet made from durian fruit. Anyone who travels to Malaysia and eats durian fruit will certainly remember the strange odor for a long time. Malaysians are very fond of it, paying horribly sums for the fruit that otherwise also grows in the wild. Its smell reminds may remind you of a mixture of onion and moldy cheese. Few foreigners enter the durians fans’ camp but for some, it may be tasty.

BELACAN

There is no Malaysian cuisine without Belacan. It is a basic condiment flavor such as soy sauce in Chinese cuisine. With its penetrating, smell it is unmistakable and houses, where the ingredient was used in cooking, can be noticed by far due to the stinky smell. However, they use it regularly as any other typical ingredient like salt or pepper as it gives the food a special taste.

Must-Try Drinks

The national drink is tea, that is, “pulled” tea. They call it this way because of the technique that is being used before serving.

The tea is poured between two cups of tea that have even distances between them such as 1 meter, all this without even spilling one drop.

It has become a tradition to pour tea in such a way before serving; it is a fascinating technique as it is as a once-only procedure for cooling the hot tea.

For the Malays it has become a well-respected tradition it may be even considered as a form of art for pouring tea as if you come to think about it, it does require a lot of practice to pour hot boiling tea without any unfortunate accidents.

Although Malaysia is a Muslim country, there is alcohol here. The ban on alcohol is only in the state of Kelantan and Terengganu. However, the price of alcoholic beverages is quite high.

Besides traditional coffee, teas, juices, and soft drinks, the Malays drink Tongkat Ali a mixture of coffee, ginseng root, and condensed milk. The flavor is quite a harsh one it may not be to everybody’s liking but if you are in Kuala Lumpur try it at least once.

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How to get there

Kuala Lumpur is one of the most important hubs from Southeast Asia. If you are flying it’s possible to have here a layover and it’s the perfect opportunity to spend a nice time here, even you didn’t plan it. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is about 55 km from city center and it’s very easy to get in because of KLIA Express route.

So, in our opinion, it’s perfect for a city break here, the perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

You can spend good time in cars with locals, and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful than guides.

Things to know

Never use your index finger when pointing at something as it is considered impolite. Use your thumb instead especially if you are dealing with locals.

If we are going to a party in Malaysia, then take off your shoes before going inside. Also, be prepared that there may even be some shops that require the same courtesy.

The taxi is quite cheap and quick but it is also worth to try the metro if you can’t find a taxi and are in a hurry.

You can eat very cheap if you are not in a tourist restaurant so watch out when you choose where to have lunch or dinner.

Malaysia is a Muslim country, but you can still have an alcoholic drink if you want one only be prepared to pay a very high price.

Don’t even try to deal with drugs. Malaysia has the death penalty for drug traffic. Drugs are not cool anyway.

Where to stay

Kuala Lumpur has multiple options for finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget. If you don’t have to worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

If you are looking for a cheap option ob Booking you can try Submarine Guest House China Town for only 17$ per night or Step Inn Guesthouse for 20$.

If you don’t worry about your budget we suggest Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa with great coffee and a nice view of the city. Another choice can be Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur in great an area for shopping.

If you are looking for three stars hotels you can book a room at City Central Hotel for 55$ per night or The Mesui Hotel Bukit Bintang for 63$ per night.

It’s a different city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them. If you are traveling on a budget or not couch surfing seems to be a good idea.

It’s a great opportunity for making new friends maybe for a week or maybe for a lifetime, you never know. Hostels are less expensive than a hotel room. Why spend 300$/night for a hotel room when you can spend 30$/night for a hostel room?! The culture of making friends never fails to amaze people.

Booking.com

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Here are some of the most beautiful sites Kuala Lumpur presents to its visitors. In other words, let’s start!

 

PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS

It is the most famous attraction in Kuala Lumpur. It is a sin if you miss visiting the towers. It is an impressive building that you will consider as fascinates for sure.

Its appearance from the outside is actually more interesting than getting going to the top of it and looking around. You should also take a look at it in the evening when it is covered in spectacular lighting.

You can go out between the 41 and 42 floors, connecting the two towers to the platform to enjoy the panoramic view of the city. The tickets are pretty expensive but it will be once in a lifetime experience.

PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS

MENARA KUALA LUMPUR

You should not miss visiting Menara which is one of the five highest telecommunication towers in the world. To get to the top you can take a lift. The price to get to the terrace is not so high and on the top of the tower. All the points of the city are visible.

Menara Kuala Lumpur is a worthwhile alternative to choose if you will not visit the Petronas Towers. Of course, you can do both but Menara is a cheaper option. The tower is higher than the twin towers plus, there are no lines where you need to wait. Very good photos can be taken through the lookout glass wall.

On Tuesday the place is closed if you visit it, it will take about an hour to see everything as there is no real museum content, but you can still view the palace and its beautiful garden.

MENARA KUALA LUMPUR
MENARA KUALA LUMPUR

MERDEKA SQUARE

Merdeka Square is the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We often hear the name Independence Square as the Malay flag was floated here for the first time when Malaysia won its independence from Great Britain in 1957.

The area is largely a grassy area, which was used by cricket players during the colonial period. The area is surrounded by the most famous buildings in the city, such as the National Museum or the Royal Selangor Club. Merdeka Square hosts a number of community events, open-air concerts, and marathon competitions.

This huge, grassy Merdeka Square (or Independence Square) is located in the heart of the Colonial Quarter of Kuala Lumpur, bound by all sorts of compelling attractions. Earlier, cricket matches and parades were held here, and the culmination of Malaysia’s independence was celebrated here as well.

MERDEKA SQUARE
MERDEKA SQUARE
MERDEKA SQUARE
MERDEKA SQUARE

CENTRAL MARKET

On the market, there are plenty of exotic fruits of Durian, dragon fruit, huge coconuts, and of course everything you can think of exotic fruit wise. You can buy clothing, shoes, sunglasses, all kinds of plastic jewels at variable prices. However, do not expect that for the very low price you are buying something original.

A few corners away is the market where you can eat in various Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Malayan restaurants or have a few snacks for the street food vendors. Here, as if we were going into a different city and world, the tall buildings are rarer, typical are the one-two-story, old, fallen buildings.

CENTRAL MARKET
CENTRAL MARKET
CENTRAL MARKET
Central Market

SRI MAHA MARIAMMAN HINDU TEMPLE

A very spectacular Hindu temple is the South-Indian styled Sri Maha Mariamman. It is the oldest in Malaysian dating back to the 19th century. Interestingly, the most famous Malaysian Hindu temple is located in the Chinese Quarter.

It is interesting to visit and watch some of the Hindu religious rituals. Of course, you have to take off your shoes and leave them in a conservator way, where you have to pay a little money before entering. From the urban noise, it is very nice to get into such a quiet place. There are few believers in the morning then at nights. In both situations, the place is interesting and exciting. You can join the visit by visiting the Chinese temple in the next corner.

SRI MAHA MARIAMMAN

THEAN HOU TEMPLE

Thean Hou Temple is beautifully decorated, a spectacular church in a somewhat outdated location, on a hill. The mood is calm and silent, even though there are many who visit it.

The colors and decorations are brilliant. On the hilltop, you can enjoy Kuala Lumpur views. Most of the tourists visiting here are satisfied with the program so we definitely recommend it.

The three-story church at the top of the southwest drum of the city is one of the largest and churches in Malaysia. By public transport, it is not yet possible to reach it so it is best to take a taxi. There is an amazing order, silence, and purity about this place. Before you go into the main sanctuary, you have to take off your shoes and leave them at the entrance.

BIRD PARK

Obviously we, we only recommend this place to those who love birds and want to see the world’s largest fly-free bird park. More than three thousand birds can be seen here.

It will take a few hours to visit everything but the ticket is not cheap. It is somewhat out of the way, with the easiest way to reach it is by taxi or a 15-minute walk from the main train station.

The point is that the birds are flying freely here, and they are not so free to escape. Here the kids and the even the adults can enjoy the parrot show programs. For the very little ones, there is also a playground in the park.

You can take superb photos as it is a very well done, organized park. Nearby it is an orchid and a butterfly park. After visiting the bird park, you have to take care of what taxi you choose, because taxis want to cheat tourists by doubling the price.

Bird Park

BUTTERFLY PARK

You can find it near the bird park and make sure to do not miss it. There are so many butterflies that you probably have not seen anything like this anywhere else. The butterflies are in a huge area covered with a giant net.

There are plenty of wet places for them with ponds, rivers, waterfalls, flowers, and plants; they are fed with a lot of hibiscus petals sprayed with honey-water if they want it.

Butterflies are very direct beings, if you are sympathetic to them, they will not fly away from you. There are very large specimens as well, palm-sized and colorful.

 BUKIT BINTANG

It is practically a plaza where the shops and restaurants meet. If you want to go on a shopping spree and spend a lot of money on original clothes, shoes, and jewelry this is the place for you.

From here you can get to the side entrance of the Petronas Tower on an air-conditioned glassy corridor, perhaps of 2 kilometers length.

 BUKIT BINTANG

CHINATOWN

 

Visit China town for the food and snacks. Restoran Kim Lian Kee famous for its Hokkien mee, the sambal that goes along with it is nice. The famous egg tart sold by Bunn Choon, normal and charcoal pastry. You can walk down the aisle and savor all the delicacies.

 

Great place to bargain on your shopping. Big range of bags, shoes, t-shirts, jewelry, and electronics. A must visit travelers especially those who are outside from China and Asian. It gets active and more colorful in the night.

Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur

LITTLE INDIA

 

This place literally looks like you are in South India, we even spotted Bollywood songs being played in different shops. As the Petaling street in KL has all Chinese store, food, and even people, this place is full of Indian things, especially the street market and the food. Good to have a stop by while in the city, it’s very near to KL Sentral.

There are Indian jewelry shops, clothing stores and many Indian restaurants specializing in serving battered rice pancakes called Dhosa

Little India Kuala Lumpur
Little India Kuala Lumpur
Little India Kuala Lumpur
Little India Kuala Lumpur

Outside the city

 

BATU CAVES 

This Hindu sanctuary is 13 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur, north of the huge limestone cave. At the base of the mountain, you can find a monumental 43-foot Hindu statue of worship. This golden statue was completed in 2006, which is currently the second largest in the world.

Be prepared for naughty food-hunting monkeys, and for the extremely steep 272 steps that take you up to the Batu caves and the cave church.

The cave has places where 100 meters of internal height are displayed, decorated with meters of limestone and cobblestones. The caves were discovered more than a century ago and the Hindu sanctuary was built in one of its passages.

The Thaipusam Festival takes place in January and February in the Batu Caves. Then 800,000 to 1.5 million Hindu pilgrims visit the cave churches.

Also, don’t forget to dress appropriately as a woman in short skirts or sleeves shirts are not allowed to go up to the case. If this is not respected than at the bottom of the stairs, a shawl must be rented to cover their legs.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Batu Caves

PETALING JAYA

If you are in Kuala Lumpur then why not visit Petaling Jaya as well? It offers many attractions that tourist could enjoy. For example, you can visit the Secret Utama Garden where you can take a long relaxing walk, enjoy the fresh air and quiet that you may not get in Kuala Lumpur into the crowd and bustling city noise.

If you want to go back in time then visit Thai Chetawan Temple (Wat Chetawan) and be amazed by its unique architecture and style.
A shopping spree can never hurt, well maybe your wallet but if you are looking for a new pair of shoes Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall is the best place you can find it.

If you really want to enjoy yourself and maybe even have kids then you and your family can spend a full day at the Sunway Lagon Them Park. Be prepared for wild rides, water games, and even a zoo.

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2 Comments

  1. Catherine Forth

    Greate info, please add more

    Reply
  2. João Lucas

    Hey there! I simply want to give you a huge thumbs up for your
    excellent info you have here about this post.

    Reply

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